Originally Posted by pcjazzdrums
As a preface, I have been studying for most of my seven years on the drums with a variety of tools, but mainly using various books. I have worked my way up through the standards (Stick Control, Portraits in Rhythm) and am now focusing on some more complicated stuff like Gary Chester's The New Breed and John Riley's awesome bop books.
So, essentially I spend 70% of my practice time (1-4 hours per day) on books and the other 30% on things like creative soloing, playing along with tunes, etc.
This was all going well, until I went to clinics in Cleveland with Mr. Dave Weckl, who mentioned that books aren't always the best route. I would never argue with his expert opinion, but I was just a little confused. I guess my question is, if not books, then how else should I go about this?
I understand that there are infinite possibilities for what I can practice. But I feel that just aimlessly messing around without the guidance of books will lead me nowhere. Also, I hear stories of professionals practicing 6-8 hours a day. If they're not using books, how do they efficiently use their time?
Any tips would be awesome. I do take lessons and my big goal here is just to learn as much as possible and be the best I can. Thanks everyone.
Well, I think practice methods are going to vary greatly from one drummer to another. I think books are probably the best way to start off, to get yourself a foundation going, but after that, it's really down to you, practicing whatever you think will help you improve the most. If that includes working out of a book, great, do it up. In saying that, I've never actually had the patience to sit down and work through books (I know, I'm awful...). When I practice I play along to songs, usually with increasing difficulty, from various styles. I also like to get video lessons online and put them on my iPod and then play with those. I haven't been able to take formal drum lessons, as I can't find a teacher near me (not that I could afford the lessons if I did find one. Stupid University kid budget...). Whatever works for you!